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Commoditization and the Public Sphere
02 April, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The distinction between the sphere of market and the sphere of public discourse remains central to liberalism. But under capitalism, the public sphere becomes untenable due its “spontaneous” destruction by the markets’ immanent tendency towards commoditization, as we are witnessing everywhere today. In such a world, a fight towards democracy is itself a means of advancing the struggle for socialism.
Trump's Protectionism
26 March, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Trumps' announcement of tariff hike tantamount to a beggar-thy-neighbor policy that would inevitably attract retaliation. But these current protectionist measures on capital-in-production do not in any way restrict capital-as-finance. They are just desperate and counter-productive attempts at coping with a crisis, which is itself an outcome of the process of globalization of finance.
Technological Change and Impoverishment
19 March, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Socio-economic effects of technological change depend upon the property relations within the system they occur. While in socialism higher labour productivity can improve the conditions of workers, in capitalism, the same has lead to growing relative labour reserves, and hence impoverishment.
The Importance of Dissatisfaction
17 March, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The first step to overthrowing an oppressive system is “epistemic exteriority” or visualizing an alternative system outside of the existing one. But neo-liberal capitalism has been remarkably successful in thwarting such visualization, by proposing “epistemic closure” as an essential component of development.
The UGC Directive on Autonomous Colleges
12 March, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Higher education in India is facing a twin danger of commoditization and communalization under the globalized capital today. This tendency is fueled further by the UGC directive that combines commoditization with a push towards centralization that is rampant under the Modi government.
The Tripura Election Verdict
07 March, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The Tripura reverse brings out the fact that it is exceedingly difficult for an opposition party, that has an incumbent government in any state to withstand the onslaught of the BJP, and in between states the one anti-BJP opposition force is different and scattered. For the Left it means a fight for survival.
The Nirav Modi Scandal
23 February, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Nirav Modi’s is not a case of crony capitalism supplanting genuine capitalism; it is rather a case of genuine capitalism coming out to display its fundamental unworkability, as a system based on the pursuit of private gain. Having institutional restraints can stem the rot, but not for long.
Bubbles, Stocks and Crashes
21 February, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
What the current U.S. experience shows is not only the role of bubbles in sustaining the level of activity under a neo-liberal regime, and hence the fact that the lives of millions depend upon the whims of a bunch of speculators, but also the completely evanescent and short-lived character of the booms in this period.
A Dangerous Period
16 February, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Contemporary Fascism around the world is emerging as neo-liberal capitalism’s “gift” to mankind in the period of its maturity, when it submerges the world economy in a crisis, and reaches a dead-end from which there is no obvious escape.
The 2018-19 Union Budget
03 February, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The strategy of the current budget seems to be simple: make immense noise about “helping the victimized” but do not give an extra paisa from the budget towards that ends. With the expenditure squeeze being carried out to reduce fiscal deficit, the share of central government spending in GDP is in fact budgeted to fall.
The Dramatic Rise in Wealth Inequality
25 January, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Notwithstanding the statistical difficulties associated with the estimates of wealth distribution, there is no gainsaying the fact that something extremely serious for our democracy and freedom is occurring through the extraordinary rise in wealth inequality, as a result of the pursuit of unrestrained neo-liberal economic policies by the present government.
Arun Jaitley on Electoral Bonds
15 January, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Arun Jaitley had outlined a scheme of electoral bonds in his budget speech on February 2, 2017. Now, exactly 11 months later, the notification of the scheme and some details of it have finally been announced in a Press Information Bureau release on January 2, 2018……..
A Year of Wilful Economic Disaster
08 January, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The uniqueness of 2017 lies in the fact that never before has the country seen a government-caused economic crisis as serious as was witnessed in this year.
The Problem with the Indian Left
27 December, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The current problem with the Indian Left, and in this term I include all sections of the Left, from the so-called "parliamentary Left" to the so-called "revolutionary Left", is in my view, its lack of appreciation of the dialectics between "reform" and "revolution".
A Dangerous Bill on Banks
22 December, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The BJP government, it appears, cannot remain content without inflicting irreparable damage on the institutions of the Indian economy. Its latest move in this direction is the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill which was introduced in parliament on the last day of the winter session and is now with a Select Committee.
Marx and Naoroji
20 December, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
In the early 1850s Karl Marx, living in Dean Street in Londons Soho, was working on his opus Capital, of which a preliminary fragment was published in 1859 as A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy........
Moody's Upgrade
20 November, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The slight upgrade of India’s credit worthiness by Moody, that equates finance with nation, is being celebrated by the media as a mark of Modi’s success, but the criteria it has used to judge are in actuality open assaults by the government on the working population. To transcend such neo-liberal capitalism, the wrongness of this criteria must be understood first.
Neo-Liberal Capitalism and its Crisis
24 October, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
Neo-liberal capitalism is marked by the hegemony of international finance capital which has many consequences, among which is the alarming upsurge of fascism, differing markedly from the fascism of the 1930s.
The Current Upsurge of Fascism
18 October, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
To describe the present upsurge of fascism as nationalist or populist would be misleading. Neither is it a replication of the fascism of the 1930s. However, it is marked by four features, which have been common to all fascist upsurges in the past, namely: rise of supremacism, apotheosis of unreason, proliferation of fascism as a movement, and intertwining of fascist movement and corporate capital.
Strangulating the Informal Economy
12 October, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The current slowdown in the economy, aggravated by the persistent world economic crisis, has much to do with the twin coercive instruments of demonetisation and GST wielded by the state to strangulate the informal economy in a bid to formalise it.

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